Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Cardinals defy the odds to win their 11th World Championship

The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Texas Rangers by the score of 6-2 on Friday night. It was the final game of the 2011 baseball season and no it didn’t live up to the hype. It would have been hard to top Game Six and it sure didn’t although it was a close game through the early stages before the Cardinals started pulling away later in the game. Chris Carpenter started for the Cardinals and was great after a rough start. Matt Harrison wasn’t as good for the Rangers and their bullpen wasn’t that good. Texas scored two first inning runs and couldn’t score the rest of the night. David Freese set the all-time record for postseason RBI and won the World Series MVP. St. Louis was a team that never said die from September all the way through this postseason and they ended up being the last team standing.
Carpenter started for the Cardinals and pitched 6 innings giving up six hits and two runs with two walks and five strikeouts. Arthur Rhodes faced one batter and retired him, Octavio Dotel faced two hitters and got both of them out, striking out one and Lance Lynn pitched a perfect inning with a strikeout. Jason Motte pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to close out the game.

Matt Harrison who took the loss pitched four innings giving up five hits and three runs with two walks and a strikeout. Scott Feldman pitched 2/3 of an inning giving up two runs and three walks. C.J. Wilson pitched 1 1/3 innings striking out two, Mike Adams pitched 2/3 of an inning giving up two hits and one run with a walk and a strikeout and Mike Gonzalez pitched a perfect inning with two strikeouts. Alexi Ogando faced one batter and struck him out.

Allen Craig had a hit, RBI and a walk for the Cardinals. Albert Pujols had a walk, Lance Berkman had a hit and a walk and Freese had a hit, two RBI and two walks. Yadier Molina had two hits, two RBI and a walk, and Rafael Furcal had two hits and an RBI. Freese had a double, Craig had a homerun. The Cardinals were 2-9 with runners in scoring position and they left eight men on base. Pujols made an error and Molina picked a runner off of first base.

Ian Kinsler had two hits and a walk for the Rangers. Elvis Andrus had a walk, Josh Hamilton had a hit and an RBI and Michael Young had a hit and an RBI. Mike Napoli and David Murphy each had a hit. Hamilton, Young and Murphy each had a double. The Rangers were 1-9 with runners in scoring position and they left six men on base. Kinsler was picked off of first base.

The Rangers struck first again in the first inning. Hamilton had an RBI single and Young had an RBI double. That would give Texas a 2-0 lead but that would be all the scoring in the game for them. The Cardinals came right back in the bottom of the first with two runs to tie it. Freese hit a two run double. In the third Craig hit a solo homerun to give the Cardinals a 3-2 lead. In the fifth Molina had an RBI walk and Furcal was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to make it 5-2 Cardinals. The Cardinals would tack on the final run of the game in the seventh inning. Molina hit an RBI single to make it 6-2 and that was how the final game of the baseball season would end.

This was a great World Series that culminated a wonderful baseball season. September was a great month for baseball and it carried into October culminating with this seventh game of the World Series. The Cardinals who were left for dead in September when they were 10 ½ games out of a playoff spot and were three games out with five to go just kept coming and became the World Champions. When you look back at this season is it truly remarkable. They defeated the best team in baseball and the heavy favorites to win it all the Philadelphia Phillies and won a Game Five in Philly against Roy Halladay. They defeated the favored Brewers who also had home field advantage and now defeated the favored Texas Rangers who were making their second straight trip to the World Series. The Rangers had a good season and a good postseason but being one strike away two times in Game Six is going to haunt them for a long time. The season is over and now the winter is upon us, it can be a cruel winter but the hot stove will be in full swing in a couple of weeks. Until the magical words are spoken again, pitchers and catchers we bid a fond farewell to the game we love, baseball.

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